Archive for May, 2008

Edina Art Fair this Weekend

edinaartfair.jpgMore than 400 artists from across the country descend on 50th and France this weekend for the 42nd Annual Edina Art Fair. I’ve been in past years, and there’s always some quality art to scope out. Plus it’s a beautiful day, so get off your computer and get out there! There’s even a shuttle from Southdale if you’re worried about parking.

Here’s a map (pdf).

Why? What Have you Heard?

Gossip. Sweet,delicious, gossip.

 It’s nectar and it’s poison. I guess it depends on your tastes and immunity. Me? Mostly I can’t stand the stuff, unless it’s about someone else.

I was going to post a Flikr photostream image today, I’ve had my eye on a few, but quick draw McGreg beat me to the draw with a waterfall.  You won this round park patron, but I’ll be back. 

So now I have to turn to the sultry and juicy world of gossip VIA:MNspeak, OMG! Fashionist Fracas @ 50th & France!.

Which raises a few questions. Is JACC really desperate to make deadline? Is anyone as incoherent as Marsh? Am I required to do an obligatory C.J. and Melly shout out? If a local t.v. station were to do a soap opera which archetype would you play?

All this and more, next week with, As The Metblogs Turn.

Minnehaha Falls last Friday

Minnehaha Falls
The weather may not be cooperating today, but this weekend it definitely felt like spring.

Here’s a standard shot of Minnehaha Falls, taken by me whilst playing hookey from work on Friday.

I’d lived here nearly 5 years and had never been. Definitely worth checking out one of these sunny days if you’ve been putting it off.

Lowe’s Owns the Outside

And don’t you forget it.

Minnesota Monitor has an item on proposed corporate sponsorship for our parks.

Minneapolis taxpayers could soon be greeted at their city parks by banners advertising a national home improvement chain that has no stores in the city proper. Lowe’s says it’s willing to donate $90,000 in goods and services to six parks. The string attached: Lowe’s wants to hang 8-foot by 2-foot banners proclaiming “This area brought to you in part by Lowe’s” in outdoor locations such as Loring Park as well as smaller signs near donated equipment reading: “These products and more are available at Lowe’s.”

Say wha? No, WTFF?!

Like it’s not bad enough that there are parks called “Gold Medal Park” to begin with (scandal-ridden as it is) (not that it’s not a nice space).

I’d readily take my $30/year from the Twins Stadium and add them to my tax dollars that already go towards city and regional parks. Yes, I will gladly pay extra to keep your corporate sponsorship off our parks.

Funny how with a stadium, you’re glad that there is corporate sponsorship so that’s less out of your pocket to pay for a stadium you probably didn’t want to pay for in the first place.

There’s another argument in here somewhere about corporate interests in government affairs and privatization.

I guess the said thing is that we can’t find enough money in the budget to adequately fund the parks in the first place. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Lowe’s made the offer anyway.

(Isn’t there already a water park in North Minneapolis somewhere with a corporate sponsorship? Or Cedar-Riverside? Or did someone blog it? I can’t remember now where I saw this.)

Catch me if you can?

My Puppy

I have always have a thing about following rules. It always makes me nervous when I don’t. When we we got a puppy a few months ago, I thought it was going to be great bring her to the dog park. Then I saw that you needed a Mpls Dog License and also an unleashed permit to be able to bring the dog into the dog park. That will be setting me back about $85 ($50 for the license and $35 for the off leash permit) for the year and then I have to renew it next year.

I tried to wait until I had all those necessary items to go to the dog park, but with our breed of dog being a herder and a working dog she need to run not walk to the dog park. So I started going before I could even get my license due to the fact I had to wait until she was 4 months so she could get a rabies shot. My puppy loves it, she plays with other puppies and dogs and she gets to run around like crazy.

In some ways I can see the safety issues, and the expenses the city has for the parks, but then again it seems like a chore and expense to get the necessary license for the dog park. Maybe they should just add $10 to the license and make unleash permit a thing of the past.

Hopefully the City won’t track me down through this blog, for admitting my crime. I haven’t seen any Animal Control officers checking credentials at the dog park, but I have heard some stories and rumors. My dog will be legal soon, and then I can grumble about the dog owners who tell stories about never buying the license and always getting away with it.

The Joy of Specs

Fear My PoolI took the day off to extend the weekend and get some much needed work done at the house. My big project for the morning was to meet with a landscape contractor and come up with a plan,estimate, and timeframe. Last night, after a hard day’s work in the yard, I hit the books and studied up so I’d be prepared for the meeting.

To begin a long story that’ll be made shorter, I was stood up.

 No call, nothing. So I called and when they called back I was told they just took on a large project and weren’t interested. “You could have called and said as much. I took the day off” to which I was basically told too bad, so sad.

Now, I’d love to flame that landscaping company as a public service, but with great power comes great responsibility or something like that. And that’s just not how I roll. The owner did eventually call me back and apologise, but jeepers. Unprofessional much? The job is a 3 – 6k project so it’s not small like all I wanted was an estimate on some mulching. (which they advertise)

Anyway, my morning shaped up to be hours of phone calls looking for a new contractor.

So far, I’ve found the award winning Axel Landscape that has done work for HDTV and will let my dogs lick their face, but I fear may be too expensive. And I’ve found Just Add Water that appears to have done some lovely plantings.

Has anyone else recently had a bad experience with a contractor?

Can you recommend a good landscaping company?

Secret Eggplant Man

After reading an article on the secret menus of Bay area restaurants weeks ago, I’ve been snooping around trying to find out about the secret menus of Minneapolis restaurants. People aren’t exactly forthcoming about secret menus, as obviously they’re meant for privileged persons, more than likely regulars whom the house wants to give an appreciative elite membership.

Recently, I discovered that D’amico Cucina has a secret menu but I won’t reveal the star item, as that would ruin it for my informant and the underground culinary clique.

I’m just wondering how exactly one discovers a secret menu, and what’s the protocol for ordering off of it. Anyone know of local places with secret menus?

Sorry Mommy Minnesota, I’m still going to text and drive

Our government officially decided we can’t handle patting our heads and rubbing our stomachs yesterday. I got the news last night at about 8:30 p.m. last night via Twitter, a mobile social network I frequently use when driving.

According to the KARE 11 story about the bill passing:

If you’re caught composing or sending a text message while you’re behind the wheel of a moving car you can be pulled over and ticketed. Even reading incoming messages could lead to a citation.

Judging from the Pioneer Press article about the bill, it was passed using anecdotal evidence that 1) people can’t handle texting while driving AND 2) it’s a problem worth legislating against, despite the lack of solid research across a wide range of demographics and psychographics.

In fact, the article only lists stats about only teens. Of course teens are distracted drivers…they are also minors, so they are pretty much fair game for passing both disapproval and legislation against. That’s fine with me. But all the news articles and broadcast segments I’ve seen interview adults on the street or in their cars and ask them if they are good drivers when they text and drive. Pretty scientific stuff to base a broad, sweeping bill on, huh?

But what about the general population, some of whom may actually be able to handle reading and replying to e-mails, surfing the web, tweeting and sending text messages? Mommy Minnesota has decided to set some new rules for us, and I’m sorry, but I’m not going to obey them.

In February 2007 I wrote a post here at MB called “I can drive and talk on my cell without crashing” in response to an eerily similar, albeit more stringent, 2007 nanny state bill that would double the fines of any moving violation if the driver was on a cell phone at the time.

Here are some highlights from that post that perfectly reflect the sentiment I’m feeling today:

Remember in grade school when the teacher had to teach the class at the pace of the dumbest student? It slowed down the rest of your class and impaired those who were fast learners and could easily handle the challenges of the day. I know many of my liberal friends don’t see the issue with this. They believe it’s the government’s responsibility to keep us safe from ourselves. But I wish to stress the importance and inevitability of the slippery slope of government mandates on our private lives.

Unfortunately, in the post-9/11 era, our society is relying more and more on the big brother government to “keep us safe.” California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia each have enacted a jurisdiction-wide ban on driving while talking on cell phones. Six states (Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) allow localities to ban cell phone use. Only eight smarter states than Minnesota (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah) prohibit localities from banning cell phone use. (then I gave a breakdown of state laws and legislation)…

At what point are we legislating to the lowest IQ of our population? At what point does society either evolve or operate outside the boundaries of the idiots in our society? …

My biggest point is that sure, use of cell phones are distracting. But look at Vermont, which is considering a measure to ban eating, drinking, smoking, reading, writing, personal grooming, playing an instrument, interacting with pets or cargo and possibly even scratching an itch while driving.

Sometimes the freedom to be an idiot is preferred to the handcuffs of what our government thinks we handle.

While I don’t doubt there are people who cannot handle texting while driving, I do not believe it’s the government’s responsibility to GIVE or TAKE AWAY that right.

Minnesota has now become only the third state (after Washington and New Jersey) to pass this ban on texting and driving, and since it was only based on anecdotal accounts and the gut reaction of a dying generation intimidated by 1) technology and 2) a rising culture of electronically connected multitaskers, there’s no way to measure if it was effective. Driving legislation in Minnesota can only get more restrictive from here, and that just isn’t okay with me.

As early as this afternoon, I’m going to be back on the roads, skimming my e-mail, tweeting and reading while I drive. I’ll pay the ticket. It’s worth the price of freedom.

And what are your thoughts, my fellow Minnesota drivers?

YouTube highlights The Uptake on inaugural Citizen News feature

Back in February, CNN launched iReport, a Web site built entirely on user-produced news similar to FoxNews’ uReport. Unlike CNN’s own properties—where only iReport submissions that have been handpicked by editors and checked for accuracy ever make it online or on air—the new site was wide open, allowing users to post whatever content they choose. Ah, citizen journalism at its best…or was it?

Now YouTube is getting in on the action with YouTube Citizen News. They’ve hired a News Manager and will be highlighting some of the best news content on YouTube every day sourced from public tips and breaking news around the world.

The inaugural intro video features a mention of The Uptake and this sweet shot of Chuck Olsen driving in his car. Watch the intro video here.


Lastly, because I can’t let it go, you need to look directly at the Taylor Carik = Bon Iver photo.

Taylor Carik = Bon Iver

Image courtesy of mthomps00. Okay, I’m done with that.

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